An Amazing Gift

In 2013 the Mathews Community Foundation received a gift that will serve the residents of Mathews formany generations to come. Long-time county residents, Tony and Judy Hannold, donated their estate, Samarkand, to the Foundation. The recent sale of Samarkand will add almost $1,000,000 to the Foundation's unrestricted endowment fund.

The Hannolds met as students at the College of William and Mary. They've been married for 53 years, sharing many common interests and values. They have a long history of giving to the Mathews Community Foundation and numerous other charitable organizations in our community. In addition to money, they have given large amounts of time and energy over the years.

Judy was taught the spirit of giving from her parents. When she was young, her parents did not have much disposable income, so they gave volunteer time. Judy followed this example by training therapy dogs and taking them to nursing homes, hospitals and shelters. As Tony's success in the railroad industry increased they were able to provide money in lieu of time and energy to local charities. Judy says, "It's not as rewarding, but a good substitute."

With their success, the Hannolds began shifting their charitable giving from "response" donations to a more focused approach on local community projects. Tony felt national charities with their big staffs, advertising, mailing, etc. consumed enormous amounts of money. Whereas, money given to local charities goes directly to the needs since volunteers provide the work. "Not only does one get a better bang for the buck, one can also see and hear about the accomplishments. Further, you know some of the volunteers and you have faith in them and what they are doing. It is a rewarding experience."

Judy said her husband had been involved with the community foundation "practically from its inception," and they hope their donation will do a lot of good in Mathews. "We feel the community foundation will use the proceeds wisely. I love to think of the money staying in the community and being used for our friends and neighbors. Tony and I have been exceedingly fortunate in our lives, and when fortune smiles and you've been blessed, you need to spread it around."

Foundation chair George Groseclose said the donation is "a spectacular gift that will practically double our ability to fund grant requests in the community." Former chair Bob Roper, longtime friend of the Hannolds, called it transformative. "It's going to mean a lot to the Foundation and to the community."

Roper said that the community foundation's unrestricted endowment, which will receive the bulk of the proceeds from the estate sale, allows the foundation's board to use its collective discretion to decide which of the county's needs are the most pressing in any given year. Proceeds from investment of the fund are used to provide grants to local nonprofits, agencies, or organizations that demonstrate need.

"The board has complete flexibility to address the most urgent needs," he said. "A lot of people have established funds with the community foundation because we're recognized as a resource for understanding what the community needs."

Hannold said that, while all giving is helpful, the community foundation "has a very close relationship with the folks it serves and absolute minimum overhead, so most of the proceeds go to the folks you want to help."

The Hannolds are concerned about the future. Tony said, "There is so little money available and needs continue to grow. We must insure that we gain the most productive use of those resources available. The Mathews Community Foundation, with its emphasis on continued sustenance, accountability in giving, and local volunteers with zero or minimal overhead, appears to be the best possible steward for our charitable giving."

The Hannolds generosity and concern for the welfare of Mathews residents has manifested itself in a legacy that will provide benefits to the community for generations. Tony and Judy have indeed 'spread it around' with a gift that is appreciated for what it will now and for years to come.


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